The needs of gods can be reduced to three main requirements. They expect homage, need information and must be able to work. These very human needs arose from our ideas about gods.
Effectiveness: In the transition from the second to the third episode, Mr. Wednesday staged a collision between a stationary car and a moving train. This situation corresponds whether wanted or coincidentally the current automobile problem.
The old vehicle with the internal combustion engine is doomed to die. The new with the electric drive is already there. A reincarnation of the car. Like Betty, the car from Wednesday which he parked at the railroad crossing.
Curiously, it is rammed by a public, electrically powered transport.
So, there is also a fight between public and private. In the episode, this fight does not go well for public transport. The train set is demolished in the landscape. That would not have been so catastrophic in a real collision. It may well be that some of the public transport will be covered by car sharing in the future. The reincarnation of Betty was such a demonstration of the potency of Wednesday / Odin.
Another example from ancient times is the “Ten Plagues” which God brought over Egypt. These were the punishment of the Israelite god Yahweh for the captivity of his people. The then new Yahweh against the old pharaoh. History is known to last millennia. Even the American Gods will have to adjust to a long dispute. Ibis: “All gods fall prey to their hunger veneration“:
The earthquake of Lisbon in 1755 was still considered by many to be God’s punishment. Although, there were already doubts. Why did God only destroy the stone cathedrals, churches and monasteries of the faithful and not the wooden huts of prostitutes, jugglers and pickpockets? The new god of science had an explanation for it. Tectonic displacement leads to earthquakes, causing a tsunami, which in turn leads to fires and disease. Everything has nothing to do with the sinfulness of people. Mr. World: “We build the new world on the ruins of the ancients”.
That old world that’s shown to us in the episode is a dingy America. Old three-liter cars, rust everywhere, old shops and everything is disposed of on the roadside. Mad Sweeney is the prototype for it.
The gods are greatly supported by their followers. Religious communities often develop near-criminal social controls. Currently, the faith community of Scientology often has to serve this purpose. Mr. Wednesday: “Change requires sacrifice.” The old gods spread pain. How do the new gods gain their power?
The New Media (Amazon), the TechBoy (Apple) and Mr. World (Google) already prove their effectiveness. Google Maps takes us everywhere, knows traffic jams and is looking for the right restaurant – full service. The TechBoy gave us the smartphone: “I am the greatest invention of humanity“. If not the biggest then probably the most widespread invention. Mr. World is now pouring out his services. In two days at the latest every product anywhere in the world and back again. The new gods spread Lust. Shadow: “Gods only make gifts if they get something back,”
Information: Odin is always depicted with the two ravens Hugin and Muninn. Both fly out into the country early in the morning and bring all the information home to Odin in the evening. In the Greek pantheon Argus Panoptes has this task. He fell out of favor and was reborn in the US as the god of surveillance. He also collaborated with the new gods because he needed the technology. TechBoy: “You are technology and that’s my thing“. Argus the master of the glass fibers is wooed by all.
The new media implores him for bandwidth. Media: “You can satisfy all my needs. I just need bandwidth“. For that she would even sacrifice technology and globalization. There is already an erotic relationship between Argus and Media. Only with real broadband (1Gbit / s) one has the 4k enjoyment of streaming services and can speak with assistants.
The global data network (Internet) is probably the most complex machine created by human hands. Argus: “All systems become chaos, even with alliances with gods. Entropy leads to disruption and collapse“. That’s what Wednesday wants and has him murdered by Laura. The net collapses, Media is paralyzed and TechBoy is happy internally, now has work again. Yes, that was probably the first success of the old gods, even though they had to sacrifice one of their own.
In fact, the Internet is highly redundant, so global failure is very unlikely. The evolving edge computing is required because of the amount of data. It is no longer possible to exchange data with global data centers. The speed of light is too slow for that. Data centers are now entering the network nodes and thus have an additional stabilizing effect. Complex systems have the advantage of great stability – you can rely on that.
Homage: The ancients expected that: people endure suffering, praying, meditating and sacrificing. There were fire victims in all great traditions. The victims for the victim were mostly women and prisoners of war. In the late Middle Ages, the victim culture was already commercialized with the indulgence trade.
All new gods want us to accept their terms and conditions. The new media wants a high customer loyalty (Apple Religion). The second most important homage of the new gods is time. We should stay online as long as possible. Since the worship times of an Orthodox Mass with three hours are still small compared to the daily serial marathon. Now for the most important homage – the money. Everyone wants our money. Either we pay for the service or look advertising which in turn costs money.
At the end of the episode, Shadow wants to know what that means. Not only he, but also the TV viewers wonder where the story of the first three episodes was. YES – it is difficult to recognize them. Stories always arise afterwards. But the fight of the gods is going on right now. How that ends and what stories are told about it Wednesday answers: “Revelations come when they are ready and not when they are demanded“.
My recommendation: watch scene by scene and connect with reality. In the first episode, it was the Brexit in the third car industry. This then creates the story – our story.